The learning process continues for Moto2 rookie Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) at Misano this weekend, where once again he faces the challenge of learning the track on a Moto2 bike in just two days before Sunday’s race.
Ogura is enjoying a mightily impressive apprenticeship season in the intermediate class, showing both speed and consistency wherever he races.
So far he has scored nine top tens from the first 13 races, a remarkable record for one so young and inexperienced in the class. These results include fighting for victory at last month’s Styrian and Austrian Grands Prix and securing his first podium with a brilliant second place at the Austrian round.
Ogura currently stands eighth overall, but only 13 points behind the rider in fifth place, with five races remaining.
After the undulating challenges of last weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix at the hillside MotorLand circuit Ogura needs to work out the fastest way around Misano, a very flat circuit situated just inland from the Italian coast on the Adriatic Sea.
Ogura has high hopes of a good result on Sunday because last year he took his first GP pole position for the San Marino GP, then backed that up with a second-place finish, before adding another third-place finish at the subsequent Emilio Romagna GP at the same track.
Team-mate Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had a more complicated weekend at the Aragon GP and aims to make amends this Sunday. Last year, the 22-year-old Thai rider came close to scoring points at the San Marino round.
The battle for the 2022 Moto2 World Championship continues to rage between Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex) and Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo Kalex), who have dominated the series with nine victories between them.
With 13 races done, 23-year-old Australian Gardner has won four races, while 20-year-old Spaniard Fernandez has scored five wins. However better consistency puts Gardner 39 points ahead of his team-mate.
Five races remain: Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix, the Grand Prix of the Americas, the Emilio Romagna GP, the Algarve GP and finally the Valencia GP on 14th November.
While Gardner and Fernandez have made the title fight all their own there is plenty going on behind them, with young Italian Marco Bezzecchi (SKY Racing Team VR46 Kalex) still third despite crashing at Aragon last Sunday.
Fourth overall is Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex), who has fifth placed Augusto Fernandez (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) only 19 points behind.
After Sunday’s Misano race the Moto2 grid heads a long way west for the first-out-of-Europe race since the season opening Qatar GP: the Grand Prix of the Americas on 3rd October.